Dr. Stephen Flynn is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on container and port security. In 1991, he began investigating the exploitation of containerized cargo for smuggling contraband while serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and a scholar at the Brookings Institution.
Dr. Flynn has presented congressional testimony before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on container, port, and maritime security on 14 occasions. From 2003-2004 he served as the Principal Advisor, for the Bi-partisan Congressional Port Security Caucus, U.S. House of Representatives & U.S. Senate. He provided expert advice and comments and recommendations in support of the drafting of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, the Safe Port Act of 2006, and the 9/11 Recommendations Act of 2007. Dr. Flynn also developed and secured the original funding and legislative support for the post-9/11 Operation Safe Commerce initiative. From 2003-2010 he served as a member of the National Research Council’s Marine Board.
Dr. Flynn has traveled extensively abroad where he has investigated port and container security and provided expert advice to government and industry leaders in the ports of Hong Kong, Singapore, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Panama, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. He has visited all the major ports in the United States and has been sought out for his expert advice by the Port of Los Angeles, Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Port of Long Beach, Port of Miami, and Port of Baltimore.
Dr. Flynn served as the principal investigator and co-author of the first comprehensive analytical and technical assessment on “Measuring the Operational Impact of Container Inspections at International Ports” with London Business School Professor Nitin Bakshi and Professor Noah Gans, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to specializing in container/supply chain, port, and maritime security, Dr. Flynn is recognized as one the nation’s top authorities on homeland security. In the fall of 2008 he served as the lead homeland security policy adviser for the Presidential Transition Team for President Barack Obama and currently serves as part of a blue-ribbon panel on homeland security co-chaired by former 9/11 co-chairs, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton. Prior to September 11, 2001, he served as an expert advisor on homeland security to U.S. Commission on National Security (Hart-Rudman Commission), and following the 9/11 attacks he was the executive director of a blue-ribbon Council on Foreign Relations homeland security task force co-led by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. He has written numerous articles and two of the most widely-cited books on homeland security The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2000) and America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004)] and frequently advised the Bush Administration on maritime and homeland security issues. Within the Obama Administration he served as a lead-advisor to the Congressionally-mandated Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) working group on transportation security, critical infrastructure protection, weapons of mass destruction and cyber security. The strategic guidance prepared by this group for the federal government on these issues was released in January 2010.
A 1982 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Dr. Flynn served in the Coast Guard on active duty for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea, received several professional awards including the Legion of Merit and retired at the rank of Commander. As a Coast Guard officer, he served in the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration and as a director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration.